Pichon: A Perspective on Race and Revolution in Castro’s Cuba

After more than three decades in exile under threat from the Cuban regime, Dr. Carlos Moore steps forward with the truth behind one of the most controversial political movements in the Caribbean. While Fidel Castro’s revolution was a success for white Marxists, Black Cubans continued to be politically and socially shunned and disenfranchised. Pich?n: A Memoir of Race and Revolution in Castro’s Cuba, will be released by Lawrence Hill Books, an imprint of the Chicago Review Press, on November 1st.

Since 1959, when Fidel Castro won control of Cuba from then President Fulgencio Batista, it has been widely accepted that Cubans, while denied the political privileges of a democratic society, live in a colorless, class-free state where publicly funded social services and equal economic opportunity exists for all. Pich?n is a jarring first hand account of the social and political struggles of Cuba’s ‘pich?nes,’ a degrading Cuban term for Blacks of Haitian and Caribbean decent.

Born in Cuba to Jamaican immigrants in the early 1940’s, Moore’s childhood was marked by poverty, prejudice, and social disenfranchisment. During the Cuban revolution, Moore’s family fled to New York in search of the freedom and prosperity equated with America; instead, Moore was sobered by the bitter level of racism in the United States. Becoming entrenched in the Civil Rights Movement, Moore was heavily influenced by his relationships with Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Alex Haley, and Aime Cesaire.

Lured back to Cuba in 1961 by the promise of racist free society, Pich?n documents Moore’s committment to fighting rampant racially-motivate injustice in Cuba, from his imprisonment to his exile to his return to Cuba after nearly thirty years.

When I discovered the extensive and profound racism that persisted covertly under the Revolution, but that the Cuban leadership systematically denied, I attempted to mobilize Blacks around the idea of drafting a petition to present to the regime,” states Dr. Moore. “I thought that what was needed was an open debate of the racial issue nationwide. Therefore, I attempted to bring that question to the attention of the revolutionary leadership. When that failed, I attempted to reach the top of the top-Fidel Castro.”

Pich?n has been hailed as “a bold and poignant book by one of the world’s most daring intellectuals and scholars,” by acclaimed Caribbean author Edwidge Danticat.

In the book’s foreword, world-renowned author and poet Maya Angelou describes Pich?n as “an astounding book about revolution, resistance, passion, and compassion…”

Susan L. Taylor, editorial director of Essence Magazine endorses Dr. Moore as “an activist and scholar with a piercing intelligence and the heart and pen of a poet.”


Cuba represents many different things to many different people. For some, it is the shining beacon of hope for people resisting oppression. For others, it is the place where people are living under an autocratic regime with limited personal freedoms.

Whatever your view of Cuba, if you are interested in the struggles of people’s of African descent in the Americas, then Pich?n: Race and Revolution in Castro’s Cuba: A Memoir is a must read.

The Pich?n release comes close to an historic election in the United States, where the possibility of a president to African descent is very real. So vote twice!! Before you cast your vote on election day, you can vote for Pichon on November 1, 2008. Be part of the global movement to purchase TEN THOUSAND COPIES of Pichon online at Amazon on November 1, 2008

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